Douglas Heriot

Frequently Asked Questions

What does DMX Assistant do?
DMX Assistant is a Mac app that allows you to send raw DMX via Art-Net (a popular DMX over ethernet protocol) to control professional lighting systems for times you don’t want to bother with a full lighting console.
It also allows you to inspect the Art-Net being broadcast around the network, so you can understand what your console is doing.
Why might I use it?
It’s great for sending DMX to test your lights, simply turning lights on for a simple event, analysing the output from your console to understand exactly what it’s doing, or for simple backup control.
I’ve also found it great for teaching and showing people how DMX actually works, without all the magic of the lighting console.
How do I get DMX in & out of my computer?
See How do I output DMX from my computer?
How do I patch my fixtures?
You don’t. DMX Assistant is designed to operate at a lower level than that – it’s just for those times when you need a really simple way to just see what’s going on with your DMX, and to output some DMX really easily for testing. If you want to patch fixtures, grab a lighting console.
Why isn’t MIDI working?
See the answer at the end of the MIDI section on the MIDI How To page.
Check the Preferences window that the settings are correct.
Why does it sometime appear to stutter? Is that bad?
If DMX Assistant ever appears to stutter, it’s usually just its interface – the underlying DMX and MIDI processing will usually continue unaffected (on their own separate threads). If you’re having a problem, please let me know and I’ll see what I can do about it.
Can I use LTP to merge instead of HTP?
No – if you need to perform more complicated merging, especially with moving heads and other intelligent fixtures, you might find it easier to use another program or device instead for now.
Why might my Art-Net input appear to flicker?
If both your Mac’s Airport and Ethernet interfaces are connected to the same network, the Art-Net input will be recieved twice (from both network interfaces). To solve this, you must disconnect one. Ethernet is the best option to use as it’s more reliable and predictable.
Why did you create DMX Assistant?
I wanted to learn more about how DMX, Art-Net and other protocols worked. When I was first trying to learn about Art-Net, I couldn’t find any tools that made it plain and simple to understand and experiment with, so I decided to create my own.
It’s been useful in making sure all the Art-Net is going where I want in simple lighting systems I’ve set up, and I hope others find the same. As my first released Mac App, there’s so many things I’ve learnt along the way that will be invaluable to working towards some of my bigger plans in the future…
If you’re interested, you can see some old screenshots of work in progress.
Press pack with Screenshots and Icons?
You can download a zip here, with the DMX Assistant icon and a range of screenshots.

Known Issues

If there’s more than around 70 universes of Art-Net input, some will run at a much slower refresh rate (sometimes will only update around once a second).

If you run into this issue, or if you find any other problems, please send me an email and I’ll see what I can do for you.